When you hire a specialist for your IT needs, what do they do for you? Do they provide reactive support when you have an issue or something doesn’t work right? Perhaps adding a new laptop or workstation for your office, a new printer, maybe a new server? Do they provide ongoing proactive support? Anti-virus, patch management, what’s included in their offering? Is it a flat rate, fixed fee plan that is all-inclusive? Do they provide CIO level strategic advice? Is it included on a regular basis? Do you get a technology roadmap that timeframes investments and their business impact? All good questions and a lot of decision points from which to evaluate in selecting your IT partner.
How does a company know what’s best for them if they rely on an IT partner? We’ve had this question presented many times and the vast majority of SMB’s are looking for sound strategic IT guidance that provides real value. Do the Enterprise and SMB markets have drastically different IT support requirements? Does Enterprise IT experience help in the SMB markets? Don’t all of the MSP’s have Remote Monitoring & Management tools, ticketing systems, and a staff of MS trained technicians? What are the differences?
Last week we had a follow-up sales meeting with a small consulting company, in which we reviewed the results of our Technology Assessment. They had invested in new servers, workstations, and software and from a high level the environment seemed in pretty good shape. Ironically, we discovered that they had a remote access server that was currently under a bot brute force attack, automatically trying to generate a password to hack in. They had no idea this was happening and their current IT provider (partial fixed fee MSP) wasn’t aware either. Since their consultants travel to compliance regulated facilities, they are also in the regulatory compliance chain with glaring oversights in IT security best practices at the office.
Strategic IT guidance is a weak component of IT management without a “Best in Class” Managed Service Provider that evaluates best practices, remediates, and monitors the environment for anomalies.